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Lyon County Gov. Center evacuated due to mystery odor

Photo by Deb Gau Employees of the Lyon County Government Center were evacuated Monday afternoon because of a mysterious and intense bad odor.

MARSHALL — The Lyon County Government Center and Law Enforcement Center were evacuated Monday afternoon after employees smelled an intense bad odor. County employees and law enforcement officers waited outside for around an hour while the Marshall Fire Department, maintenance workers and county officials did a walkthrough of the buildings.

However, firefighters were not able to detect gas in the buildings, said Marshall Fire Chief Quentin Brunsvold.

“We don’t know what happened,” Brunsvold said.

“The fire department and the city crew walked all the rooms with gas meters, and nothing showed up,” said Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg. It’s possible the odor came from outside, he said. “We had reports of people smelling it outside the building.”

Brunsvold and Stomberg said the Government Center and Law Enforcement Center’s air handlers were taking in fresh air, to ventilate the buildings.

The call to evacuate the buildings went out around 12:19 p.m.

“All three levels (of the Government Center) were giving a smell of gas,” said Stomberg. Stomberg said the odor seemed to reach many parts of the building, including the county administrator’s office on the second floor, all at once. “It made some of us dizzy.”

County and court employees gathered outside the buildings at a safe distance, while a walkthrough was conducted. The Lyon County Jail was not evacuated during the incident.

Some evacuees described the odor as being like sewer gas, while others said it made them think of other strong smells like sauerkraut or broccoli.

The all clear for people to re-enter the buildings was given around 1:25 p.m. Stomberg said the buildings were being ventilated to help get rid of the odor.

“We’ve got the air handlers on, we’re taking in all fresh air, and we hope that’s it,” Stomberg said.

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